Pirates Recap: Velasquez and Suwinski Lead the Latest Victory

With the way the first inning went, it appeared that the Pittsburgh Pirates consecutive quality start streak would come to an end.

After a scoreless top half, the Colorado Rockies didn’t wait around long with Kris Bryant hitting a one-out home run off of Pirates starter Vince Velasquez to give the Rockies an early 1-0 lead. After the second out, the Rockies then strung together three consecutive hits for two more runs, capped off with a former Bucco Elias Diaz run scoring double to make it 3-0.

Velasquez really settled in after that, allowing only one more hit and three walks over the next five innings. He wasn’t exactly filling up the strike zone — 57 of 95 pitches for strikes (60%) — per se, but he sat down seven hitters by strike out. He also did a strong job of keeping the ball on the ground, with six groundouts to four flyouts.

After all was said and done with Velasquez, he had left the game with a lead in hand, thanks to the man of the hour and of the series.

The day after hitting a pinch hit home run, Jack Suwinski proceeded to hit a home run in each of his first two at bats Tuesday. He got things going in the top of the second with a 364 foot solo shot. In the fourth inning, Connor Joe and Carlos Santana kept their strong starts to the season going by hitting back-to-back doubles to start the inning, with Santana’s scoring Joe. Then Jack stepped to the plate, and for the third consecutive at bat — going back to Monday — he got ahold of a first pitch fastball and sent it 434 feet for a two-run home run and 4-3 lead.

Wanting to get in on the fun, recent call-up Tucupita Marcano leaned into one and hit a 385 foot triple. He’d then score on a wild pitch to give the Pirates a 5-3 lead.

Duane Underwood Jr. and Robert Stephenson each pitched an inning, and held the Rockies scoreless while giving up two hits and registering a strike out each. Stephenson had runners on the corners with no outs, and then sat down the next three batters.

In the ninth, David Bednar is thanking his lucky stars that he’s a thicc yinzer with a love of IC Light. First batter of the inning Jurickson Profar hit a liner at 103 MPH right at Bednar that hit him in the butt cheek. He managed to recover, grabbed the ball, and toss it to Joe at first base just in time to get the out. Bednar remained in the game, getting the final two outs, finishing it off with a strike out of CJ Cron.

The Pirates won 5-3 and sealed a series victory in Colorado. They’ll play the third of three games Wednesday afternoon before returning home to take on the Cincinnati Reds.

Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

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Wilbur Miller

Choi out 8 weeks.

pikebishop65

Who gets the call? Andujar? Nick Gonzales? (Does he play first?)

Danatural08

This team is impressing more & more each day. That play by Bednar was amazing.

However, the one thing to temper expectations, the team still hasn’t played against a team with a winning record. Their early season schedule is much easier than around the all star break.

Love seeing the Cards continue to lose!

I’ve watched some of the Brewers game highlights & don’t think they’re as good as their record indicates.

Wilbur Miller

“Cards continue to lose”

ArkyWags

Too much is being made of this. Do we really think that Houston and St. Louis will end up as under .500 teams?

Danatural08

Good point – would love the Cards to finish below .500 for once!

ArkyWags

Tried to edit this and couldn’t. Agreed on it being great the Cards continue to lose and the Brewers may be in some trouble with their pitching staff. On the other hand, both of those organizations are resourceful and seem to get more out of less.

Catch_22

He looks like a 20-year-old that has some development left.

Hopefully he doesn’t go Jo Addel.

ArkyWags

All will tremble before the Buccos arms!

jon6er

Pretty impressive job by Stevenson getting out of his mess with no runs scored.

Iowasteel

11-7, that is a 99 win pace. Slightly better than I expected.

Catch_22

Jack is back, baby.

He’s got one of the more aesthetically pleasing swings.

Side note – They need to send Smith down. I don’t know who they should bring up, but he’s a mess right now. I feel for the brother.

Lennyk1029

Speaking of Yinzers and I.C. Light, there is now a turners tea flavored I.C. light. It’s the most white trash, yinzer, PGH thing ever. It actually tastes ok. I didn’t buy a case but was surprised. Better than a Coors light I’d say, especially after a series win in Coors field.

Last edited 1 month ago by Lennyk1029
angie

Who knew Velasquez could pitch a QS in COORS??
But I don’t like Bae as a SS at all. Castro’s not a good shortstop but has better arm at the very least…

By the way, laughed at this:
“In the ninth, David Bednar is thanking his lucky stars that he’s a thicc yinzer with a love of IC Light.” 😁

emjayinTN

Castro and Bae are out there showing how this team can adjust to an unplanned emergency. In the 2 years preceding 2023, Castro played SS in only 48 games and well over 100 games at 2B/3B. During that same 2 years, Bae played SS in only 24 games and well over 100 games at 2B, CF.

Both were signed as second basemen, but Castro played a lot of SS earlier in the lower levels (before Oneil). He now has to adapt to the Shortstop position again and I would be sure he and Bae are getting a lot of extra reps since the injury to Cruz. But, I am glad the Pirates are letting them play, and this period will make this team even stronger going forward.

Years ago in Pirate City I watched Ke at SS and he’s as smooth as anyone we have at any level! Don’t be surprised to see him take some reps at SS also. And, Jared Triolo has been recognized the last two years as one of the Best 3B Prospect in A+ and then AA. The Pirates had him getting reps at SS at Altoona last year.

Catch_22

Neither are SS’s. I guess I’d trust Castro out there more than Bae.

At the end of the day, I don’t know if Bae is much better than replacement. I had hopes that he would be the next JHay, but JHay was a better hitter and fielder.

Bae is way more style than substance. He’s also one of the cockiest players I’ve seen play for the Pirates. The ridiculously enormous gold chains, the bat flip and the money sign…It’s a bit much.

I love me a showman, but you have to be good to pull it off.

Last edited 1 month ago by Catch_22
emjayinTN

I here ya. Nope, I never did appreciate cocky, but I have not seen him do anything that could be interpreted as belittling another player/pitcher. He’s a kid having a great time and he is not one to hold it inside. Castro is more reserved, but together he, Bae, and Cruz are a solid group of MI’s.

Choi out, I would like to see the Pirates keep Joe in the Rotation with Santana at 1B. Watching Santana’s double yesterday, he hits very well from the left – is he as good from the right? Bring up additional BP help – we are not deep enough or experienced enough to maintain this usage.

angie

Honestly I think Hayes would be a better shortstop than both Bae and Castro. Shelton should try it… 🙂

AdministrativeSky236

He absolutely would be, and putting him there could have cruz return in RF where i believe he belongs long term anyway

Catch_22

return in RF? As far as I know he’s never played there.

Early season, it appeared Cruz made strides at SS.

This meme of moving the best 3b defender to SS is a bad take. Do you think Card fans are pounding the table for Arenado to play SS?

AdministrativeSky236

And harper has never played 1B, tatis never the OF, betts came up as a 2B and has been a 6x gold glove RF now likely to take a run at SS this upcoming week

Catch_22

These are all examples of players playing a less demanding position.

Hayes would go to the highest defensive position on the spectrum.

These are fun convos…Can you name any player that switched from 3b to SS in the middle of his career? It would be unprecedented.

AdministrativeSky236

Dont think betts playing SS is less strenuous, in fact that is probably even more far fetched than arguably the best defensive infielder in the league playing SS

Catch_22

Betts hasn’t played SS.

If he does, it’ll only be temporarily.

Catch_22

You do realize this meme only exists in these rooms. Nobody is suggesting such a thing.

Catch_22

I vaguely remember one of his early scouting reports saying something along the lines of he could probably play SS. Wasn’t an article. Again, this is fun, but if that’s your only example, it’s never been discussed outside these rooms.

NMR

My brother in christ, they are playing a 6’8″ unicorn at the position right now and you’re treating the idea of moving a far better fielder there like it’s the Pope.

Catch_22

I don’t know if Hayes would be a better defender at SS. He’s never played the position.

Cruz is the Pope!

NMR

That’s like sayin you don’t know if Usain Bolt could beat me in the 100m hurdles because you’ve only ever seen him run the 100m dash.

Well, sure, but we have a pretttty damn good idea!

NMR

I’m sayin!

Catch_22

Oh, now I get it. You guys are attacking me at all angles…gaslighting me. Manipulation of reality.

NMR

NMR

Bingo. Get a real shortstop and nobody would be talking about moving Hayes.

NMR

you and me both!

angie

Also off topic, but this is how you become a billionaire, folks.
“The president said ushers earned about $9 an hour in 2005 and were making $9.35 an hour almost two decades later. ”

He then agreed to raise it to a jaw dropping $12.40 per hour rate!!!
“He said that the Pirates agreed on Tuesday to give the workers a slight bump in their 2022 retroactive pay, which will provide a nice lump sum of money to employees.
Dorman, though, said union representatives were still unhappy with the salary offer for ushers — a sticking point in the contract talks — who would only make base pay of $13.10 an hour by the end of the agreement.
Ushers will make base pay of $12.40 an hour in 2023 — up from $9.35 an hour — and will be able to collect tips. Also in 2023, ticket sellers will make $19 and ticket takers will make $18.65 per hour.”

emjayinTN

How can we expect to pay the “unnecessary” help when we have to use that money to pay the . . . . . . well, NO, we aren’t paying the players either. What about the $30+ mil spent on Hill, Santana, ‘Cutch, Choi, VV, Joe, etc.? Thank Eck, the other owners, and the MLBPA for making that possible. Partial year rentals are always easier, but they go away leaving nothing to build upon.

Lopez one day, Greene the next. Maybe Mitch Keller? Maybe Bryan Reynolds? Has anyone blinked yet, Ben? Hell, the Pirates don’t need that 4th year of Reynolds, who is on his way to possibly a 4+ fWAR season.

The T Shirt says it all!

angie

The Pirates will allow the ushers “to collect tips”!!! So the fans help the underpaid employees? That’s not supposed to be the owner’s job????
The Pirates are off to a good start and they have some parts of the core filled. If Nutting doesn’t invest… MLBPA should seriously raise issues AGAIN. Cheap owners need to be kicked out, starting with Nutting.
Reynolds wants an opt-out because he’s cut his salary to match what the Pirates can/will pay him. Pay him more to get rid of the opt-out!

AdministrativeSky236

Its similar to most any store having a tip option when checking out. Would much rather just have everyone paid a better baseline wage from their actual employer

Catch_22

I tip barbers, bartenders, delivery drivers, uber drivers, waitresses. I’m not tipping the kid that gets the beer out of the cooler at the beer distributor. I see the jar next to the register, but I’m not putting anything in there.

To
Insure
Prompt
Service

Take care of your bartender and they’ll take care of you.

robertkasperski

I have been over tipping all those that work in bars/restaurants, barbers, delivery, etc as they all were being paid next to nothing during the pandemic and are still working to make up the lost income.

Catch_22

I’m the same way. If I have a $23 tab, I’ll give her $40.

I’ll disagree with being paid next to nothing during the pandemic. They were getting unemployment and like an additional $600 per week. Those folks never seen that type of money and it kept a lot of them from returning to work, because they made more staying at home living off the GVMT.

robertkasperski

Many were still working but sporadically and when restaurants went to take out only, I know a lot of people who don’t add a tip when the pick up or have it brought to the car. Many still did work but got nowhere near the tips. Many barbers/stylists are considered self employed so no unemployment.

Catch_22

You’re talking about the minority. The overwhelming majority of bartenders/waitresses/servers, ect. stayed home and collected all that $

You couldn’t go to an Arby’s without waiting for 30 minutes because they had no staff…they were home collecting GVMT money. This is no secret.

angie

Right. It’s just strange for the owners to expect the customers to compensate for low wages.

phieralph

Seems to be a strictly American thing.

angie

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